1934: A New Deal for Artists Exhibit in Albany

During the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a &#8220new deal for the American people,&#8221 initiating government programs to foster economic recovery. Roosevelt’s pledge to help &#8220the forgotten man&#8221 also embraced America’s artists.

The Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) enlisted artists to capture &#8220the American Scene&#8221 in works of art that would embellish public buildings across the country. They painted regional, recognizable subjects &#8211 ranging from portraits, to cityscapes and images of city life, to landscapes and depictions of rural life &#8211 that reminded the public of quintessential American values such as hard work, community and optimism.

1934: A New Deal for Artists examines more than 50 paintings from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum created under the auspices of the Public Works of Art. The paintings in this exhibition are a lasting visual record of America at a specific moment in time. The exhibition runs from October 19, 2012 to January 20, 2013 in the West Gallery of the New York State Museum in Albany.

1934: A New Deal for Artists is organized and circulated by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with support from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Endowment Fund and the Smithsonian Council for American Art. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition
program, Treasures to Go.

Illustration: Lily Furedi’s Subway, 1934 (oil on canvas).

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